Creating Passionate Users, always good for some thought provoking questions, talks about using seduction to get users involved. Involving the brain in a service or learning experience will results in better participation from our users and an encounter that is satisfying to our customers.
I think the concept of learning through gaming also works in conjunction with the idea of seduction. Engaging the brain through a scenario of locating a half hidden item is standard game plot fare. In an RPG, one is often asked to locate hidden items, people, or missions. You never know what is waiting around the corner, fame and fortune or a troll hoping to make you its second breakfast. This is just one of the reasons why RPGs are so very much fun.
How does this concept apply to library instruction or staff training? What can we do to create either an incentive to learn or a mission in which the students derive the path and define the experience themselves? Rewards for learning are a classic method. See the Learning 2.0 program at PLCMC. I think it is almost easier to develop staff training with incentives because there are a lot of things a workplace can offer employees who attain a higher level of expertise, money, time, items. Classes for the community (whether that be faculty, students, or community users) can be harder. Letting a class guide the learning process by giving up control as the instructor can be an invaluable tool in getting a class to participate.
It has become cliche to many to offer candy as a reward in classes, but what about gift cards to Starbucks? It worked great for Steven Cohen at Internet Librarian! Are there things we could give them that are “free” for us? I know that some libraries are creating tutorials that resemble games. I like to be entertained and this sort of idea is appealing to me. It is all about me, right?
Are you seducing your users or driving them away? We can seduce our users in many, many ways. We can offer unique services, great customer service, nice spaces, the resources they want, the technology they need, no restrictions, no fines, control over their own experience, and the list goes on…
–Jane, a little seduction